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Comparing Roosevelt and Hitler

President Franklin Roosevelt in the 1930s had been the happy warrior, frequently smiling, while Hitler rarely smiled in public or in private gatherings.

Roosevelt was born into a family of wealth, believing in democracy and international comity, while Hitler had struggled for his place in society, disliked democracy and believed in national aggrandizement at the expense of others.

Roosevelt had never been in combat or the military. Hitler was a combat veteran who felt wronged by his country's failure to achieve victory in World War I, and he wanted to make amends for that failure.

Hitler wanted to impose his will on the Russians. Roosevelt looked forward to Russia liberalizing itself.

Hitler was for the grandeur of the state – the Fatherland. Roosevelt believed in politics for the sake of people.

Roosevelt believed in a nation of laws. Hitler believed that he was the law.

Hitler had been more of a mystic than Roosevelt and believed in the power of will – despite circumstances. He blamed defeat not on his mistakes but a lack of will by the Germans and spoke of their not deserving his leadership. At his end he ordered a grand destruction of vital structures – orders not carried out.

Hitler had wanted to be highly regarded by history. When Roosevelt died the world mourned. Hitler killed himself and had his body destroyed to save himself from hostile mobs.

Sources

The War, (U.S. citizens at war), by Ken Burns

The Second World War, by Martin Gilbert, 1989 (A good book for understanding the nature of people.)

Bloodlands: Europe betwen Hitler and Stalin, by Timothy Snyder, 2010

900 Days: The Siege of Leningrad, by Harrison E. Salisbury

The Origins of the Final Solution, by Christopher Browning, 2007

Summits, Chapter 3, "Yalta 1945," by David Reynolds, 2007

The Fall of Berlin, 1945, by Antony Beevor, Viking Press, 2002

A World of Arms: a global history of World War II,by Gerhard L. Weinberg, 1994

Hitler, by Joachim Fest, 1992

Stalin, by Edvard Radzinsky, Doubleday, 1996

Hitler's Austria: Popular Sentiment in the Nazi Era, 1938 – 1945, by Evan Burr Bukey, 2000

Among the Dead Cities, by A C Grayling, 2006

Bombs, Cities and Civilians, by Conrad C Crane, 1993

Special Envoy to Churchill and Stalin, 1941-1946, by W Averell Harriman and Elie Abel, 1975

Aid to Russia, 1941-1945, by George C Herring Jr, 1973

The Last 100 Days, by John Toland, Randon House, 1966

Scenes from the End: the Last Days of World War II in Europe, by Frank Manuel, 2000

Conversations by Milovan Djilas, 1962

Civil Life in Wartime Germany, by Max Seydewitz, Viking Press, New York, 1945

Russia's War: Blood upon the Snow, by Richard Overy and Peter B Kaufman, 1997 (A book about the Soviet Union from 1917 to 1945, mostly about the Soviet Union during World War II.)

So Close to Greatness: a Biography of William C Bullitt, by Will Brownell and Richard Billings, 1988

The Bitter Years: The Invasion and Occupation of Denmark and Norway, April 1940~1945, by Richard Petrow, 1974

Frauen: German Women Recall the Third Reich, by Alison Owings, 1993

Caught between Roosevelt and Stalin: America's Ambassardors to Moscow, by Dennis J Dunn, 1998

The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D Roosevelt, Harper and Brothers Publishers, 1950

Forty Ways to Look at Winston Churchill, by Gretchen Rubin, 2003

The Goebbels Diaries: 1939-1941, edited by Fred Taylor, 1982

The Nation Killers: the Soviet deportation of nationalities, by Robert Conquest, 1970

Human Smoke: The Beginnings of World War II, the End of Civilization, by Nicholson Baker, 2008

Hitler's Jewish Soldiers, by Bryan Mark Rigg, 2002

The Young Lions, a novel by Irwin Shaw, 1949

Days of Sadness, Years of Triumph: the American People 1939~1945, by Geoffrey Perret, 1985

Soldaten, On Fighting Killing and Dying, The Secret World War II Transcripts of German POWs, Alfred A Knopf, 2012

More on this website

Marta Hillers, Berlin, Machismo and Rapes in 1945

The Final Solution

Video

The Unknown War: Survival at Stalingrad, narrated by Burt Lancaster

Movies

Schindler's List

Das Boot (The Boat)

Aimée & Jaguar (Golden Globe Nominee)

The Secret of Santa Vittoria, a Stanley Kramer movie starring Anthony Quinn and Anna Magnani, from a novel by Robert Crichton. "What kind of people are you," asks the German captain?

                     

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